Sunday, June 9, 2013

Transfer and a new companion - Elder McGuire

June 3

Let’s start with wonderfull transfers. Last Monday I packed all day (no letters guys I'm sorry, thought I would have time, but didn't). I got to say goodbye to a few people in the ward and a few recent converts. It kind of made me sad to go because Maria just about cried seeing me go, and they were all telling me watch out for druggies and the whole bit because São Paulo is a bit more on the dangerous side. (Oh we got a really good cake at one of the houses we passed too, thank goodness for birthdays!)

Then came the 2 days of misery. Yes, I repeat, feeling sick on a bus for about 12 hours, and wanting to puke the whole ride and not being able to sleep. (No mom, there were no live animals on the bus, it was just really jerky.)

The buses, by the way, are like our charter buses in the states, the only problem is the roads in that area still need a bit of attention.

So we stayed in Londrina one night, hung out with Elder Finati and Elder Llianis for a bit, (me and Elder Pedro de Sousa) and the next morning got on another bus that was a bit better...

Now with Elder McGuire, we have had a few investigators, at least one we want to baptize – a family. The kid Gabriel is reading the Book of Mormon like a boss, and the mom stopped smoking and coffee after being severely addicted for 14 years (maybe longer, I forget the number) in one day. Loco! They just need to recognize their response and be baptized

I’m still just getting the feel here. We met a guy that I would like to baptize, a little crazy, but Edineas is a really cool guy. We met him as we were trying to get a hold of another Maria (recently moved in and didn't know where the church was. she fed us dinner one night after we passed by, oh my gosh deliciousness.)... (One more thought. that was the first time on my mission I went back for seconds on the salad. Wow!)

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about our investigators, we have a few other good options, just need to teach them. Anyway, love the ward; love the people here, not too many druggies (though the first contact I did here we think was a drug dealer...)

Here’s some responses to my Mom’s questions:

How do you like your new companion?

Elder McGuire is fantastic, and all I could have asked for. He's ginger, and tall, (Just so you know the zone leaders who always are with us at lunch are really tall too, so they make me feel really short all the time, and I just have to kind of deal with it.).

But he is a worker, just finished training Elder Cox (arrived the same time that I did) and just turned DL, so he is kind of learning as we go. It’s cool getting to see him in action, and seeing how he cooperates with everyone. I get to learn a ton of new things all the time. He is from Vancouver Washington, was the companion of Elder Millett (who is also from Washington) and played basketball and is really chill. I love how much he loves sharing the gospel with others, and I feel like we teach really well together, (or at least I can speak the language a bit better now)

Are their four of you in an apartment again?

Nope, just us.

What is your new place like?

Well it’s not the prettiest place I have ever lived.... let’s just say I was counting the spiders in the bathroom as I was taking my daily shower. I lost count.

It’s pretty big for just the 2 of us, but would be small for 4 of us, so it’s just right. Not a ton to work with, but at the very least has everything the last house didn't when I started, like tables, a bit of food, and beds and dressers. I'm set :) so basically its home.

Do you feel wet all the time?

Since it’s been raining all week... yes. But thanks to my wonderful mom who thought ahead and sent me a light raincoat, I'm all set to battle the elements! (I love how it is packable...)

How are your feet holding up?

They stink, but I’m living still, so the smell obviously isn't that bad.

Anyway, if you have any more questions, I would be happy to answer them, it makes it easier for me to write these letters long :)

Love you all, and write me soon!

Elder Sean Anderson

(My name is officially now Elder Sean. when I say my name, people always think Jackie Chan. I’m not sure why. Maybe I should just change my name to Elder Chan).

There's a reason you do things the right way, and glimmerings of a transfer

May 27

Here I am again, just living life as a missionary, and how great it is! Well sometimes. (I`m pretty sure anyone who has been a missionary knows what I`m talking about).

To start, this last week we played some basketball on p-day, as always I have the worst hand eye coordination, (I swear I must be a lefty, cause this right hand isn`t working for me so well all the time.) and just kind of chilled on p-day. we ended up doing a bit of work, but didn`t have a ton of time, so we just visited Maria, making sure she was ready for the interview the next day.

The next day:

We had our weekly district meeting, and after ran over to get her so she could have an interview with the zone leaders, who are in our district. We got there, brought her to the church, and later that night ended up baptizing her.

Cool thing about it, we did the baptism twice cause she didn`t go all the way under, (Elder Millett did it) and she didn`t want to do it again ‘cause she didn`t feel like it made a difference, but after the baptism, she felt this relieved feeling come over her. So far she has been firm, and hasn`t given in to anything even though we think she is having problems with at least one of her sons. Man she`s great!

The rest of the week we just looked for people to teach, baptize and such. One guy we found, Alimao (German in English) was one guy we found as we passed his house and he invited us in. Seemed a bit crazy after talking to him telling us that he works at the wall right outside his house (don`t know who pays him) and such.

Oh and that brings me to the big news. I`m going to Bauru! wooooooo!!! That’s going to be so much fun, can`t wait. My new companion is Elder McGuire, kind of really excited! But I`ll have to write about that next week.

Funny thing is, we finally got the tables and almost everything sorted out - that’s the funniest thing about all of this.

I don`t have a ton to say this week, ‘cause it was mostly just a “looking for people” week, new people that we can teach, though I don`t have any more to do in this city except pack and leave. So that will be coming up really quick.

Stay tuned in next week for the new companion and how we get along!

Elder Sean Anderson

(ps write me you guys, I miss hearing from you (though I should get letters here really soon))

Learned a lesson about putting off the "natural man"

May 20

Well this week was pretty fun, and also a little difficult. We had a lot of rain for a couple of days, it got so bad one day that we returned home for a bit and studied and dried off waiting for it to calm down. After that it was a lot better, we talked to people and set a baptismal date for Sunday.

The problem with the baptism was she didn't show up.

Maria, I believe I talked about her a few weeks ago, but she stopped us in the street to tell us to help her son and her with the gospel. One of her sons was baptized previously, and so we came and taught her. Everything was going right, except she didn't think that she needed to be baptized again, or that she could be baptized again. Other than that she was all ready to get baptized and to make the covenants with God.

So Sunday, we had a member pass to try and look for her - she wasn't there. So we passed by later on before sacrament, about 3 times. Each time wasn't there. So the baptism at 12p.m. was canceled and good thing, ‘cause earlier that day we tried turning on the heater which hadn't been turned on in years and the font turned really dirty. That was problem number one with, the other was it took an hour to try and figure it out and turn it on. So it was a good thing it canceled in a way. We passed almost every hour after trying to get in touch with her and have the baptism that night. Ended up being a no go because we finally got in touch with her at 7p.m. that night, and she wanted to wait a bit longer.

We'll wait untill Tuesday, and hope and pray that nothing goes wrong.

There really wasn't a ton this week, we talked to a few new families, did some searching for news. Oh yeah, we went to an English class and talked with the students there, and that was really fun. the teachers were both really cool and were glad we came to talk to them, and the first the one that initially came in contact with us was super cool and made us cookies!!!! Both regular and chocolate chocolate chip (2x times the chocolate :P) and it has been so long since I’ve had chocolate chip cookies! (Hey Mom can you send me you're favorite recopies for that and just in general, I need more things to make at night besides pasta and rice :P). The second class we passed was smaller, but still cool. (Though it sounds like all the students here like to party, get drunk, and hang out with friends. They need more hobbies). They also talked about passing the church on Sunday but they never showed. Sad day.

The other really funny story: we passed a lady the other day who came out of the house when we knocked and she started talking to us (it doesn't help me when people talk fast to me). At first she seemed really crazy, and my companion told me to make it simple and fast, but she ended up being really cool, gave us a ton of references telling us to pass and teach the whole world another day. And she brought us coffee, we had to turn it down, I feel bad when people do stuff for us like that and we have to say no, though also glad that this wasn't the first time I had to drink coffee :P

One thing I learned this week is that people get mad at little things a lot. I am starting to notice that people get frustrated easy at little things and it hasn't really helped me. for example, the other day I was making rice, and was just about done, and one of the members of our household gave a little suggestion to do something that I could have done 10 minutes before, but didn't make a difference at that point, and on top of that it didn't end up making much of a difference in the end anyway. The thing was he gave me the advice expecting me to do it, and he blew up when I didn't.

(Oh by the way, I have learned that people look really ridiculous when they get angry and yell. That was something that Elder Chollett taught me.) From that I have tried really hard to never yell back at people. and to couple that I read the next day in mosiah 3:19

19: For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

So what I learned from this is that with the natural man, the first reaction is the one that destroys. In this instance, both he and I could have avoided this situation and little argument by putting off the natural man, by not giving into the first reaction.

Also, we also need to give up our own pride sometimes when we see that someone will blow up like this, to do our part to help avoid the situation. It’s kind of sad how it happens, but if we can all learn to put off the natural man, we can also get along better with each other and have the peace that our Heavenly Father promises us.

Well I'm out of time, got to go, miss you all, and write me soon. I might have to resort to some other method of sending letters than through scanning them into emails the next few weeks till I can figure out what’s wrong with my camera, but I will still send through snail mail. See you all in a year and a half!

Elder Sean Anderson